The Curbed Cup, our annual award for the neighborhood of the year, is kicking off with 16 neighborhoods vying for the prestigious (fake) trophy. We’ll reveal each of the neighborhoods this week, and polls will be open for 24 hours so you can cast your vote as to which ones should advance. Let the eliminations commence!
(4) Logan Square
Many people are flocking to Logan Square’s beautiful boulevards for its modest rent, tucked-away pubs, crafted cocktails and burgeoning restaurant scene. Bon Appetit named Chicago as Restaurant City of the Year thanks to several neighborhood favorites including Giant, Fat Rice, Mi Tocaya Anotjeria, and Lula Cafe.
Developers have rushed to throw up new, luxury apartments alongside the neighborhood’s bungalows and greystones. Although the city’s expanded TOD incentives did result in a lot of new development along Milwaukee Avenue, not all have been expensive housing.
The area also made the list of nation’s 25 coolest neighborhoods (Wicker Park made the list too, although, a few notches below Logan Square).
(12) Wicker Park and Bucktown
Wicker Park and Bucktown have shed their old identities for trendier shops, outdoor patios and even a few rooftop bars. They have become destinations for both locals and tourists for shopping, dining, and nightlife.
The community still retains an artists vibe and there are even some Bucktown two-flats with lawns that haven’t been targeted (yet) for new lot-line-to-lot-line mansions. Not unlike Logan Square, the community has dealt with gentrification too.
Wicker Park and Bucktown share a border with the North Branch Industrial Corridor—and now that the city has relaxed zoning restrictions it could mean a lot more office, retail and apartments are on the way.
Buildings here are ripe for creative redevelopment—a few examples include the Robey Hotel and just next door the Walgreens housed within a historic former bank building. Despite the neighborhood’s commercialization, local bars, theaters, galleries and quirky bookstores have held their ground.
A passionate argument could be made for both of areas, but which one deserves neighborhood of the year? Vote below!